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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

OTP- August 2012: The Leader Post: New stadium won’t have same appeal, says Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee

“Building a new stadium down the street does not work unless (Ron) Lancaster spilled some DNA in the lot where they’re going to build the new stadium,” he added. “You have to refurbish (Mosaic Stadium). You’ve got to can all new ideas you might have and use the sacred ground. Fenway did that and that is why Fenway is loved. The new Yankee Stadium isn’t the same as it used to be.”

The former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitcher will not be running for the vacant mayor’s position in Regina later this year. With his opinion on the new stadium, he wasn’t sure he would garner many votes anyway. But that is nothing new to the former member of the Rhinoceros Party. Lee ran on the Rhino ticket in 1988 for president of the United States. Not surprisingly, he didn’t make the ballot in a single state. He said one of the high-ranking members within the party gave him a six-pack of Molson Canadian and asked him to run for president.

“I adhered to their funny philosophy,” Lee said. “My campaign slogan was ‘No guns, no butter. They’ll both kill you.’ And I only campaigned in federal prisons where I knew they couldn’t vote, and I only accepted a quarter in campaign contributions.”

With it being an election year in the U.S., Lee said he is all in for the re-election of Barack Obama.

“The only time (Mitt) Romney opens his mouth is when he needs to change feet,” Lee said of the Republican nominee. “If Obama does lose this, which I can’t see happening, then it’s because of a lady in Florida who works for Jeb Bush and Diebold, the voting-machine company. If Obama even comes close to losing this election, it’ll be fraud.”

Guess what, its the new OT politics thread!

Tripon Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:04 AM | 5975 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston, politics

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   5701. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4223805)
You may not agree, but I tend to think trillion dollar deficits are not all that sustainable.


The US ran up much larger deficits (relatively) during WWII. That kind of deficit every year forever, maybe not. As part of a cyclical recession, not so worrisome. When the GOP worries about the deficit when they are in charge let me know.

BTW -
There are two ways for you to make a contribution to reduce the debt:

You can make a contribution online either by credit card, checking or savings account at Pay.gov
You can write a check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it's a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public. Mail your check to:

Attn Dept G
Bureau of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188
   5702. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4223807)

You do realize that won't make a dent in the deficit if entitlement growth is left unchecked?


The population as a whole is getting older. That alone is going to increase spending on social insurance programs even if nothing else changes. There is no way to 'check' it that doesn't impoverish the elderly. The main social insurance program that is growing faster than that is Medicare, and Mitt Romney has come out in opposition to any cuts in that program.
   5703. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4223808)
so, then i take it you're in favor of raising income taxes on people who earn more than 250K, closing the capital gains loophole, and raising the death tax to pre-reagan levels until the deficit is reduced to zero?


Tax policy is one of the least effective to manage deficits and debts. First I would cut defense spending by 75% and pull the US troops out of all but a few countries. Even after the 75% cut, it would still be the largest in the world by a comfortable margin.

My second move would be to nationalize the Fed and retake control of the currency. Then I would re-hire all of the freshly unemployed soldiers and defense industry workers to rebuild the crumbling national infrastructure.

But of course this is all hypothetical, as I would be assassinated shortly after announcing the military spending reductions.
   5704. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4223809)
BTW, on the abortion question, this bit is particularly awesome.


Outstanding.

GOP Delagate: "Who are we, to tell him (Romney), what his choices should be (regarding his non support of the no abortions/no exceptions plank)?"

I truly believe these brain dead nutjobs didn't see the incredible irony in their statements.
   5705. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4223811)
The US ran up much larger deficits (relatively) during WWII. That kind of deficit every year forever, maybe not. As part of a cyclical recession, not so worrisome. When the GOP worries about the deficit when they are in charge let me know.


Again, you're confusing me for a GOP supporter. I don't know how many times I have to say it, but I despise all mainstream political parties equally.

As for WWII, it left the US with a massive industrial productive capacity with state of the art factories, and no competition from shell-shocked Europe and nuked Japan. There is no such capacity today, and given our Free Trade at all costs policy, we couldn't compete with China even if we did, so the parallel is meaningless.
   5706. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4223812)
The population as a whole is getting older. That alone is going to increase spending on social insurance programs even if nothing else changes. There is no way to 'check' it that doesn't impoverish the elderly. The main social insurance program that is growing faster than that is Medicare, and Mitt Romney has come out in opposition to any cuts in that program.

Yes, but the planned increases in benefits are far above inflation levels.

It's not "impoverishing" anyone to cut the growth rate of SS benefits to inflation, rather than index to real wage growth. It's not "impoverishing" anyone to means test Medicare more, and link the growth in benefits to inflation.

Look, seniors can't continue to get real increases in Medical care of 10% a year. To curb the growth is not "impoverishing". If the quality of care never improved beyond today's levels, it would not be in the least bit unfair.

Nobody has the right to spend hundreds of thousands of other peoples' money so they can live to be a chronically ill 90 y.o.
   5707. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4223813)
As for WWII, it left the US with a massive industrial productive capacity with state of the art factories, and no competition from shell-shocked Europe and nuked Japan. There is no such capacity today, and given our Free Trade at all costs policy, we couldn't compete with China even if we did, so the parallel is meaningless.

No, I think we could compete with China if we carpet bombed their factories for 2 years.
   5708. hokieneer Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4223814)
If that was true, wages in the service industry would be trending substantially upward due to the alleged labor shortage. They're not.

Again anecdotal, I stopped at a truck stop over the weekend. On the door they had a sign for 6 positions (3 cooks & 1 server for the diner, 2 gas station positions) and they all said wages starting at above min. wage and above welfare. I chuckled, wish I would have snapped a picture.

Seems some (if not many) businesses are having trouble filling low-wage positions. At the same time the country has extremely high unemployment rates. I know it's a net negative for society to have the unemployed engineers flipping burgers, but at some point something has to give.
   5709. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4223816)
No, I think we could compete with China if we carpet bombed their factories for 2 years.

Of course, I should have been more clear - I meant if we had a post WWII industrial capacity.
   5710. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4223817)
Again, you're confusing me for a GOP supporter. I don't know how many times I have to say it, but I despise all mainstream political parties equally.


Sorry, my bad.

And I am on board with the military cuts. I would like raise the tax rates to Clinton levels (or more). I am also in favor of raising inheritance taxes. But yeah not going to happen.
   5711. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4223819)
If David was here he would point out that American industry has never been as productive has it has been right now.*



*Well, you know, recession and all but the point is that it is a myth that somehow American industry is gone or somehow well below output from 50 years ago.
   5712. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4223820)
Again anecdotal, I stopped at a truck stop over the weekend. On the door they had a sign for 6 positions (3 cooks & 1 server for the diner, 2 gas station positions) and they all said wages starting at above min. wage and above welfare. I chuckled, wish I would have snapped a picture.

Sure, but they're obviously not offering enough above minimum wage to make working more appealing than sitting at home.

Using round numbers just for the sake of example, if my choice is to receive $500/week in government benefits while sitting at home or to earn $600 for working 40 hours in a low-skilled job, the former looks much more appealing.
   5713. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4223821)
Using round numbers just for the sake of example, if my choice is to receive $500/week in government benefits while sitting at home or to earn $600 for working 40 hours in a low-skilled job, the former looks much more appealing.

And which would you take? Would you actually sit at home unemployed because you'll only get slightly less in the short term than working?

What do you think that unemployed person is waiting for? What job do you think he is holding out for? A 6 figure VP job?
   5714. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4223822)
Seems some (if not many) businesses are having trouble filling low-wage positions. At the same time the country has extremely high unemployment rates. I know it's a net negative for society to have the unemployed engineers flipping burgers, but at some point something has to give.

There has been a large increase in the average $ of benefits received by an UE'd person under Obama. From the massive expansion of Food Stamps (all asset tests, and most income tests have been eliminated) to the 5 million people added to SS Disability (where there is no real verification; people get disability for ADD), to the continued extensions of UE benefits and Medicaid, many people make more on the dole than at a job that pays $10/hr.
   5715. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4223824)
I've heard that argument from David, but its flawed. Of course gross output isn't below what it was 50 years ago, but when you adjust for the advances from technology alone, and view it as a proportion of world production, it ain't the same. And really, who gives a #### what GDP is when only the top earners in the economy are benefitting from it?
   5716. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4223825)
Back to the "All parties are the same" argument.

If the rights of minorities, including gay rights, the definition of marriage, voting rights, access to health insurance, equal pay across genders, tax rates, campaign financing, environmental laws, abortion rights and such things are not important to you then yeah I guess the parties are the same.

If the corrupt connections between corporations and politics, the size of the military, the war on drugs and in fact much criminal policy and such are what is important to you then you could say the two are pretty much the same - if you ignore all the other stuff.
   5717. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4223826)
The only light between the Dems and GOP in fiscal terms is that the Dems still occasionally take budget balancing seriously, whereas the GOP have no purpose or goal but to cut taxes and damn the torpedoes.


I don't think that the Ds have ever considered balancing the budget to be a serious concern. However, the seemingly effective GOP rhetoric that theirs is the party of fiscal responsibility deserves to be debunked at the D convention. Next week Bill Clinton may be wise to point out that (1) the largest annual surplus in US history was the final year of his presidency, (2) the 4 largest surpluses came in his last 3 years and in the following year before W's policies could take effect, (3) the next 3 largest surpluses in US history were under D presidents, and (4) GWB quickly turned those large surpluses into massive structural deficits by launching 2 wars (and doubling military spending in doing so) and pushing through 2 substantial tax cuts, one of which disproportionately favored the wealthy and the latter a blatant giveaway to the wealthiest Americans. He could also note that it wasn't until his second term that he was able to really turn around those GHWB deficits and preside over a booming economy.
   5718. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4223827)
If David was here he would point out that American industry has never been as productive has it has been right now.*

*Well, you know, recession and all but the point is that it is a myth that somehow American industry is gone or somehow well below output from 50 years ago.


Yeah, but real people don't give a #### about output, they want jobs. And manufacturing employment is way down.

Not to reopen old battles, but the idea that $800 iPads and iPhones, and $300 LeBron James sneakers are manufactured abroad so the companies can save $20 on each is a sin. We desperately need a tariff.
   5719. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4223829)
And which would you take? Would you actually sit at home unemployed because in the short term you might make a little bit of extra cash?


But you wouldn't make any extra cash if you had to commute, unless you live in an area with an efficient public transportation system.
   5720. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4223830)
I've heard that argument from David, but its flawed. Of course gross output isn't below what it was 50 years ago, but when you adjust for the advances from technology alone, and view it as a proportion of world production, it ain't the same. And really, who gives a #### what GDP is when only the top earners in the economy are benefitting from it?

Who cares about world production? The bowl has gotten bigger but so what? If I'm a 10 and there are only two other people and each is a two and then through expansion we now have 30 people in the room and I'm a 40 and there are some 5's through 20's sprinkled in the room and 29 other people add up to 100 what have I lost?
   5721. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4223831)
Ideally benefits should be structured so as to encourage folks to work over not working. It will never be totally ideal, and I would rather err on the side of people (and their children) having enough food.
   5722. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4223832)
But you wouldn't make any extra cash if you had to commute, unless you live in an area with an efficient public transportation system

So would you stay at home? I've heard this argument before but where is the actual proof that anything more than an insignificant amount of unemployed people are doing this kind of calculus? These jobs do get filled and there isn't a paucity of applications.
   5723. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4223834)
I don't think that the Ds have ever considered balancing the budget to be a serious concern.


Except of course when Bill Clinton did actually balance the budget.
   5724. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4223835)
We desperately need a tariff.


Damn right, and I don't understand for the life of me how people argue against this. Some of the hardcore libertarians do, but I think its pretty foolish national policy to spend 200 years elevating your standard of living only to piss it away in the name of free trade. That's what we're doing.
   5725. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4223836)
We desperately need a tariff.


Damn right, and I don't understand for the life of me how people argue against this. Some of the hardcore libertarians do, but I think its pretty foolish national policy to spend 200 years elevating your standard of living only to piss it away in the name of free trade. That's what we're doing.


Because tariffs don't really work the way you think they will.
   5726. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4223838)
Who cares about world production? The bowl has gotten bigger but so what? If I'm a 10 and there are only two other people and each is a two and then through expansion we now have 30 people in the room and I'm a 40 and there are some 5's through 20's sprinkled in the room and 29 other people add up to 100 what have I lost?


Would you mid explaining this a little better?
   5727. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4223839)
So would you stay at home? I've heard this argument before but where is the actual proof that anything more than an insignificant amount of unemployed people are doing this kind of calculus? These jobs do get filled and there isn't a paucity of applications.

Take it up with 'hokieneer.' He's the one claiming low-skilled jobs are both available and increasingly hard to fill.
   5728. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4223840)
Yeah, but real people don't give a #### about output, they want jobs. And manufacturing employment is way down.

Manufacturing jobs are down as a % of total jobs in America. That isn't really dire. It means the economy has grown and changed.
   5729. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4223842)
Not to reopen old battles, but the idea that $800 iPads and iPhones, and $300 LeBron James sneakers are manufactured abroad so the companies can save $20 on each is a sin. We desperately need a tariff.

Yep.
   5730. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4223843)
Damn right, and I don't understand for the life of me how people argue against this.


There is a pretty good economic argument against tarrifs. Once upon a time (the 90s if you must know) I bought it. Now I am not so sure. It is a more complex issue than most are willing to admit.

I console myself with the thought that even if the US citizen has been hurt by the lack of them*, many people throughout the world are much better off than they otherwise would have been. People in China and Korea are in fact people and their well being (much much better than it used to be) is a good thing.

* And again I am not 100% sure either way honestly, especially since there is a long term versus short term component.
   5731. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4223844)
Manufacturing jobs are down as a % of total jobs in America. That isn't really dire. It means the economy has grown and changed.

For the worse.
   5732. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4223845)
Would you mid explaining this a little better?

I'm not sure what needs more explaining. You seem to think that since America was really big in a really small fishbowl at one point that if it isn't really really really really big in a gigantic fishbowl that that is somehow something really bad. America's economy has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 70 years. American industry has grown by leaps and bounds in 70 years. Just because other sectors have grown faster doesn't mean American industry is dead.
   5733. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4223846)
McCoy, if Chinese factory workers worked 40-hour, 5 day weeks with 2+ weeks of vacation a year, had 5-10 stat holidays a year, paid sick days, didn't add melamine to infant formula and abandon or abort their female children, and dump their industrial waste in their rivers, I'd be all for free trade with them. Such as it is, I'm not.

   5734. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4223847)
Take it up with 'hokieneer.' He's the one claiming low-skilled jobs are both available and increasingly hard to fill.

So are you gonna dodge the question? You and others argue for a livable wage and whenever immigration comes up you talk about how the jobs they take should pay more so natives would take them. So I am asking you if you were unemployed and your options were a temporary unemployment check of $500 a week or a 40 hour job paying $600 a week which would you choose? Would you stay home or would you work?
   5735. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4223848)
McCoy, if Chinese factory workers worked 40-hour, 5 day weeks with 2+ weeks of vacation a year, had 5-10 stat holidays a year, paid sick days, didn't add melamine to infant formula and abandon or abort their female children, and dump their industrial waste in their rivers, I'd be all for free trade with them. Such as it is, I'm not.


And this in a nutshell is an argument for tarrifs. It is essentially the "fair trade" versus "free trade" argument. It is very tricky to decide what the right solution is in a dynamic system.
   5736. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4223850)
People in China and Korea are in fact people and their well being (much much better than it used to be) is a good thing.


Yes, they are people and they certainly deserve a hand up. But not from my government at the expense of my standard of living. I don't pay taxes to my government to subsidize the offshoring of my jobs by corporations lacking the ethics that make themn take advantage of cheap foreign labour and lax regulations.
   5737. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4223852)
I'm not for unregulated trade but as an aside what is so inherently correct about a 40 hour work week with 2 days off, 2+ weeks of vaction (with a good deal of it paid), paid sick days, and holidays?

These are things we choose to have and value. Those things come at a cost and part of that cost is importing our labor and goods.

People want the jobs to come back but they don't really want to pay for them. They want it to be cost free and that isn't how the world works.
   5738. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4223855)
Just because other sectors have grown faster doesn't mean American industry is dead.


So I guess the industrial ghost town hellholes in Detroit, Cleveland etc. are just figments of my imagination?
   5739. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4223856)
So are you gonna dodge the question? You and others argue for a livable wage and whenever immigration comes up you talk about how the jobs they take should pay more so natives would take them. So I am asking you if you were unemployed and your options were a temporary unemployment check of $500 a week or a 40 hour job paying $600 a week which would you choose? Would you stay home or would you work?

In most cases, I'd take the $500, and it doesn't have anything to do with being lazy.

If I had any kids, the extra $100 won't cover daycare. If I have to drive to work, some or all of the extra $100 will get eaten up by gas, wear and tear on my car, parking, etc. (Or, if I use mass transit, I'll pay $20 or $30 per week for that.) Add in payroll taxes, etc., and I'd probably be lucky to make a net $1 extra per hour for working those 40 hours rather than staying home.
   5740. hokieneer Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4223858)
Take it up with 'hokieneer.' He's the one claiming low-skilled jobs are both available and increasingly hard to fill.

I just gave my observation, clearly anecdotal evidence, that I routinely see a lot of low-skilled jobs available. I have no evidence to suggest that are hard to fill, other than the sign stating "wages start above min/welfare".
   5741. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4223859)
So I guess the industrial ghost town hellholes in Detroit, Cleveland etc. are just figments of my imagination?

Hey, don't worry. All those laid-off blue collar workers are transforming themselves into architects and software engineers as we speak!
   5742. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4223861)
Not to reopen old battles, but the idea that $800 iPads and iPhones, and $300 LeBron James sneakers are manufactured abroad so the companies can save $20 on each is a sin. We desperately need a tariff.

Because nothing will get our economy kick-started faster than a trade war. Smoot and Hawley for Congress!

And by the way, anyone who spent $800 for his iPhone got seriously ripped off.
   5743. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4223864)
We erect tariffs and foreign goods become more expensive. So two things will happen on the international front. Either another country will step up and exploit not being under a tariff to produce our goods and or the countries that are effected by the tariff will slash their costs so that their goods will still be competitive in our market. On our end when we erect tariffs we will initially get larges amounts of cash pumped into our government's coffers. If the tariff is high enough and actually targets industries that we require jobs will get created on the home front. But these jobs will be more expensive because our labor is more expensive and the goods they produce will be more expensive because labor is more expensive, cost of doing business is more expensive, and generally start up costs are just plain old expensive. So cost of goods in America will shoot up. We'll then have a load of goods that cannot compete in the international market because the only thing making our goods viable in our market is a tariff that protects them but that tariff doesn't help our good in international market. On top of that once we start setting up tariffs to protect our home market it is highly like that foreign countries will also setup tariffs to protect their markets. So while we might send the Chinese labor force back into the stone age with a tariff we've also cut ourselves out of that market and now have to find jobs for all those people unemployed by this happening.
   5744. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4223865)

And this in a nutshell is an argument for tarrifs. It is essentially the "fair trade" versus "free trade" argument. It is very tricky to decide what the right solution is in a dynamic system.


That's a big part of it certainly. But there's another side.

Free trade leads to the equalizing of returns to the factors of production across countries. Capital moves to cheap-labor countries to seek higher returns, increasing the returns to labor in those countries, and decreasing the returns to labor in the high wage nations.

Therefore, the impact of trade with countries with huge pools of low wage labor will be to drive down the returns to labor (i.e. the wages of unskilled workers) in the US and other high-wage countries, and increase the returns to capital (both human and physical) in high wage countries.

It's no surprise that the last two decades of free-trade would lead to huge income gains in the top-20% of US households; they own all the human and physical capital. Likewise, real wages for unskilled labor have plummeted. It's exactly what the economic models would predict.

If you really believe in free trade, you have to be willing to let the wages of the bottom 50% in the US fall to Chinese levels. Of course, with our welfare system, that means most of the bottom 50% won't work at all.
   5745. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4223866)
On a related note, and I don't really know what this says in the context of the current discussion, but the labour force of my city (Fredericton, NB) and surrounding area was just reduced by about 3-4% in one day this month. Eleven companies from the Alberta tar sands held a job fair and just over 2000 people showed up, and apparently all of them got job offers. So if you want to go live in Northern Alberta, there's lots of work.
   5746. hokieneer Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4223867)
Not to reopen old battles, but the idea that $800 iPads and iPhones, and $300 LeBron James sneakers are manufactured abroad so the companies can save $20 on each is a sin. We desperately need a tariff.

You know how businesses work. If those products were manufactured here, then the additional costs would be passed along to the consumers.
   5747. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4223869)
Using round numbers just for the sake of example, if my choice is to receive $500/week in government benefits while sitting at home or to earn $600 for working 40 hours in a low-skilled job, the former looks much more appealing.


That might be true, if it weren't for the EITC. Now, I don't know how many children one must have to get $500/week in welfare, but it must be at least 2. And with 2 children, the EITC is $5100/year, or $100 per week. 3 children it's $5800. So that's $700/week instead of $600 vs the hypothetical $500.
   5748. Ron J2 Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4223870)
#5738 No. It means that basically good paying, semi-skilled manufacturing jobs are a thing of the past. Manufacturing output (in real dollars) has continued to rise while manufacturing jobs have declined (and by an almost equal amount as the increase in output). Neither trend is likely to change. Vastly better robots (plus ever faster, ever cheaper computers) means it takes fewer people every year.

It's a story that's happened many times before. In the same way there are few dyers, fullers, coopers, etc. Right now, it's happening on a larger scale than ever before. (And as with every case of a dying profession it hits the people in that profession hard.)
   5749. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4223874)
We erect tariffs and foreign goods become more expensive. So two things will happen on the international front. Either another country will step up and exploit not being under a tariff to produce our goods and or the countries that are effected by the tariff will slash their costs so that their goods will still be competitive in our market. On our end when we erect tariffs will initially get larges amounts of cash pumped into our government's coffers. If the tariff is high enough and actually targets industries that we require jobs will get created on the home front. But these jobs will be more expensive because our labor is more expensive and the goods they produce will be more expensive because labor is more expensive, cost of doing business is more expensive, and generally start up costs are just plain old expensive. So cost of goods in America will shoot up. We'll then have a load of goods that cannot compete in the international market because the only thing making our goods viable in our market is a tariff that protects them but that tariff doesn't help our good in international market. On top of that once we start setting up tariffs to protect our home market it is highly like that foreign countries will also setup tariffs to protect their markets. So while we might send the Chinese labor force back into the stone age with a tariff we've also cut ourselves out of that market and now have to find jobs for all those people unemployed by this happening.

I'm not advocating punitive tariffs across the board.

Free-trade makes total sense with countries like Japan, South Korea, the EU, etc., who have similar wage levels, and similar environmental and labor laws.

I'm talking about tariffs on countries with low wage rates, and unfair competitive advantages garnered from destroying their environment, and exploiting their workers.

Of course some things will cost more, but I shed no tears for the upper classes having to spend $100 more for their iPhone, or $300 more for the 50" TV. Tariffs will hurt the rich and upper middle class, but help the working class. That's what we need in this country.

The bottom line is, there's no alternative. US Democracy can not survive impoverishing, or putting on the dole, 40% of the population.
   5750. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4223876)

You know how businesses work. If those products were manufactured here, then the additional costs would be passed along to the consumers.


I'm fully aware of that, and accept it completely.

I want to divert money from people buying $800 smartphones, and $300 sneakers, and $800 big screen TVs to blue-collar workers making $12-20/hr. I also want to divert corporate profits to the working class too.
   5751. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4223877)
Yes, they are people and they certainly deserve a hand up. But not from my government at the expense of my standard of living. I don't pay taxes to my government to subsidize the offshoring of my jobs by corporations lacking the ethics that make themn take advantage of cheap foreign labour and lax regulations.


Think of it as foreign aid. Better off neighbors makes the whole neighborhood nicer.
   5752. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4223879)
#5738 No. It means that basically good paying, semi-skilled manufacturing jobs are a thing of the past. Manufacturing output (in real dollars) has continued to rise while manufacturing jobs have declined (and by an almost equal amount as the increase in output). Neither trend is likely to change. Vastly better robots (plus ever faster, ever cheaper computers) means it takes fewer people every year.

It's a story that's happened many times before. In the same way there are few dyers, fullers, coopers, etc. Right now, it's happening on a larger scale than ever before. (And as with every case of a dying profession it hits the people in that profession hard.)


But the jobs haven't gone away. They've gone to China. We can bring them back.

All you need is a tariff that more than offsets the Chinese/Vietnamese/Indian wage advantage, and you'll see iPhone factories in SoCal, sneaker factories in Cleveland, and call centers in Oklahoma.
   5753. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4223880)
Think of it as foreign aid. Better off neighbors makes the whole neighborhood nicer.

Except what about our actual neighbors in the US who can't get jobs? We have more responsibility to them than to foreigners.
   5754. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4223882)

Yes, they are people and they certainly deserve a hand up. But not from my government at the expense of my standard of living.


So you sympathize, but aren't ready to do anything to help them, and want your government to adopt policies that would hurt them.

If you really believe in free trade, you have to be willing to let the wages of the bottom 50% in the US fall to Chinese levels.


This does not follow. There is not a finite stock of wealth in the world such that if one part gets more we automatically get less. If Chinese incomes double that's a huge boon for us and the rest of the world, in addition to the Chinese. I'm not sure how a developing country is supposed to improve its standard of living. Primary resource extraction is generally finite and destroys the environment. Agricultural production runs up against cheap U.S. food exports and also causes deforestation, overuse of water supplies, etc. Manufacturing is apparently out. What, precisely, are they supposed to do?


But the jobs haven't gone away. They've gone to China. We can bring them back.


Yes, exactly what we need to get out of our current situation is more low-wage jobs in the textile industry.
   5755. The Good Face Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4223884)
So are you gonna dodge the question? You and others argue for a livable wage and whenever immigration comes up you talk about how the jobs they take should pay more so natives would take them. So I am asking you if you were unemployed and your options were a temporary unemployment check of $500 a week or a 40 hour job paying $600 a week which would you choose? Would you stay home or would you work?

In most cases, I'd take the $500, and it doesn't have anything to do with being lazy.

If I had any kids, the extra $100 won't cover daycare. If I have to drive to work, some or all of the extra $100 will get eaten up by gas, wear and tear on my car, parking, etc. (Or, if I use mass transit, I'll pay $20 or $30 per week for that.) Add in payroll taxes, etc., and I'd probably be lucky to make a net $1 extra per hour for working those 40 hours rather than staying home.


Yeah, an acquaintance of mine did exactly that when he lost his job a few years ago. Granted, he was a truck driver and wasn't making huge bucks, but from his perspective, a few extra thousand dollars a year wasn't worth working 40 a week vs. sitting on his ass. He spent two full years collecting unemployment, playing with his kids, and loafing. The minute he wasn't eligible for unemployment, he found another truck driving gig.

Can't say I'd do any different if I were in his shoes.

   5756. Ron J2 Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4223885)
#5746 Or just not made in the first place. The Economist frequently points out that there has been pretty much a trade of manufacturing jobs for jobs in the service sector. Given that these jobs don't tend to pay as well as the ones they are in effect replacing, it's not a great trade for the people involved. Still, increase the price and you'll lower the demand. And with lower demand comes lower sales, which equals lower service sector jobs. (There's also the issue that industries protected by tariff tend to produce lousy, expensive products, And that it's easy -- even likely -- that you go from imposing tariffs to full blown trade war without intending it. Every nation is always under internal pressure for protective barriers of their own. Smoot-Hawley is a major reason The Depression got as deep and lasted as long as it did)

A looming problem though is that the service sector jobs are starting to dry up as more and more stuff is bought online.
   5757. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4223886)
I don't know how many times I have to say it, but I despise all mainstream political parties equally.


I despise both parties, but not equally, I despise the current version of the GOP more, but that doesn't mean I like/support the Dems.

Regarding Tariffs and Free Trade, I'd heard incessantly for 30+ years that Free Trade is good, and that Tariffs are counterproductive, that economists were virtually unanimous, the most prominent naysayer so to speak that I recall, was Perot- and his famous prediction of great job sucking sound from Mexico did not come to pass...

   5758. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4223887)
#5738 No. It means that basically good paying, semi-skilled manufacturing jobs are a thing of the past. Manufacturing output (in real dollars) has continued to rise while manufacturing jobs have declined (and by an almost equal amount as the increase in output). Neither trend is likely to change. Vastly better robots (plus ever faster, ever cheaper computers) means it takes fewer people every year.

It's a story that's happened many times before. In the same way there are few dyers, fullers, coopers, etc. Right now, it's happening on a larger scale than ever before. (And as with every case of a dying profession it hits the people in that profession hard.)


What snapper said, and in addition, look at Germany. They are certainly further ahead than the US when it comes to adopting industrial technology, but they haven't cut themselves off at the waist like we have. Technology is supposed to improve our standard of living, not degrade it.
   5759. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4223888)
I don't think that the Ds have ever considered balancing the budget to be a serious concern.

Except of course when Bill Clinton did actually balance the budget.

Did you stop reading after the first sentence? My point was that although balancing the budget may never have been a primary D objective, Bill Clinton's record on this issue is far better than that of any GOP President, and the Ds should highlight it next week.
   5760. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4223889)
This does not follow. There is not a finite stock of wealth in the world such that if one part gets more we automatically get less. If Chinese incomes double that's a huge boon for us and the rest of the world, in addition to the Chinese. I'm not sure how a developing country is supposed to improve its standard of living. Primary resource extraction is generally finite and destroys the environment. Agricultural production runs up against cheap U.S. food exports and also causes deforestation, overuse of water supplies, etc. Manufacturing is apparently out. What, precisely, are they supposed to do?

Chinese wages will rise, so our wages won't fall to their current levels, but their future levels. However, their are many billions of workers in low wage countries, and only a few hundred million in the high wage ones, so our wages will fall more than their will rise.

Developing countries should manufacture for domestic consumption. Let the Chines make $100 TVs, and $50 phones for their own consumers, rather than expensive ones for us. That's how the US developed in the 19th century. We didn't export manufactures to Europe.

Edit: Of course the Chinese gov't has explicitly followed an export strategy, and discouraged internal consumption, b/c they want high-tech manufacturing capabilities to create an advance Military-Industrial base.

Their leaders care far more about matching US military technology, and keeping the corruption flowing, than improving the lives of their average joe workers.
   5761. Ron J2 Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4223891)
#5752 You might get minimum wage jobs back (which is why I qualified my statement). Anything more and they'll buy robots.

Mind you, the robots will come in any case. The technology gets better and cheaper every year. There's a reason net output rises while net employment in the sector drops.
   5762. hokieneer Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4223893)
Developing countries should manufacture for domestic consumption. Let the Chines make $100 TVs, and $50 phones for their own consumers, rather than expensive ones for us.

Who is going to buy luxury items when they're making $1.10 an hour?
   5763. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4223894)
So you sympathize, but aren't ready to do anything to help them, and want your government to adopt policies that would hurt them.


I don't look at it that way. My gov't isn't beholden to the Chinese, its beholden to me. If the Chinese want to increase their standard of living, they should look to themselves first, not the "benevolence" of Western gov'ts keen to facilitate the offshoring of their manufacturing jobs.
   5764. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4223896)
Not to reopen old battles, but the idea that $800 iPads and iPhones, and $300 LeBron James sneakers are manufactured abroad so the companies can save $20 on each is a sin. We desperately need a tariff.


The mindset that sees campaign finance reform against corporate donations as an attempt to "overturn free speech" is not going to stand idly by while the good of the nation's citizens are put ahead of the pure and perfect idols of Mammon uber alles.
   5765. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4223897)
#5752 You might get minimum wage jobs back (which is why I qualified my statement). Anything more and they'll buy robots.

Mind you, the robots will come in any case. The technology gets better and cheaper every year. There's a reason net output rises while net employment in the sector drops.


Bullshit. The factories will of course be more capital intensive in the US, we want that, it raises wages. But, the jobs in high tech factories pay very well.

Who is going to buy luxury items when they're making $1.10 an hour?

You do realize that China has a middle class bigger than our whole population? China currently has over one billion cell phones. Somehow they're buying them.

   5766. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4223898)
Chinese wages will rise, so our wages won't fall to their current levels, but their future levels. However, their are many billions of workers in low wage countries, and only a few hundred million in the high wage ones, so our wages will fall more than their will rise.


Japan was a low-wage country in the 1950s, Korea in the 1980s. Did trade with them cause our wages to lower as their wages rose? No. There is not a finite amount of labor that needs to be done.
   5767. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4223900)
Of course some things will cost more, but I shed no tears for the upper classes having to spend $100 more for their iPhone,


Breakdown on the manufacturing costs of an iPhone:

link

The only thing that China does is assemble the components. The components come from all over the world, but mainly US, Japan, Korea, and Germany. As the assembly of the iPhone is soul crushingly boring and repetitive, I'm not sure we want those jobs. And does it make sense to pay $50 more for an iPhone just to get a bunch of minimum wage jobs that will probably go to immigrants anyway?
   5768. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4223902)
. If the Chinese want to increase their standard of living, they should look to themselves first, not the "benevolence" of Western gov'ts keen to facilitate the offshoring of their manufacturing jobs.


Of course, the U.S. government had exactly the opposite position when European tariffs were hurting U.S. manufactures.

But the real problem is that barriers to trade hurt both sides. If China looks to themselves and we look to ourselves, we both end up poorer.
   5769. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4223903)
But, the jobs in high tech factories pay very well.


Not the kind of jobs you want to bring back. I'd rather work as a bartender than assemble an iPhone.
   5770. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4223904)
The mindset that sees campaign finance reform against corporate donations as an attempt to "overturn free speech" is not going to stand idly by while the good of the nation's citizens are put ahead of the pure and perfect idols of Mammon uber alles.

Correct, the Corporate interests will need to be defeated.

I've been waiting for 20 years for the Republican party to go populist (the rich and corps. have been disproportionately backing the Dems for at least 15 years now).

Eventually as things continue to get worse and worse for the average American, the worm will turn, and a populist/nationalist party will take power. Hopefully it will happen via electoral means, but I wouldn't be shocked to see a coup in the US in my lifetime.
   5771. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4223905)
You know how businesses work. If those products were manufactured here, then the additional costs would be passed along to the consumers.


Not really.

If company X makes widget Y and does any sort of price point marketing study worth it's name, they'll set the price point for that widget at $Z. Their top line profits will be the price point the market will bear for the widget ($Z) minus the cost of manufacturing the widget ($Y).

If the cost of manufacture increases by $20 that doesn't mean the price point the market will bear for the widget magically increases by $20. It means the profits from the sale are now $Z-($Y+20). The company will then make some new calculation about the profit margins they wish to run, price points in the market (vs raw sales totals), etc.

The idea that the cost will be "passed on to the consumer" is just a bad theoretical shortcut that's been preached to the choir long enough that people think it's scripture and verse. (Sort of like that story of Jesus and the adulteress.)
   5772. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4223906)
My favorite general from the Revolutionary War is Nathaniel Greene. Knew how to inflict a beating, kept his army from getting routed, and kept on sticking it to the Brits.


In Liberty or Death, Greene had a tactical rating of 99. Only Guy Carlton had a 100. But Return Meigs also had a 99. And Daniel Morgan, but he had a guerrilla unit so it was only 250 men instead of 500.
   5773. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4223907)
Japan was a low-wage country in the 1950s, Korea in the 1980s. Did trade with them cause our wages to lower as their wages rose? No. There is not a finite amount of labor that needs to be done.

Their populations were tiny compared to the 2+ billion low wage workers that have entered the global economy since 1990.
   5774. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4223909)
Well I'm signing off for the Labour Day weekend. I wonder if union bashers take the holiday or go to work just for spite?
   5775. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4223910)
The only thing that China does is assemble the components. The components come from all over the world, but mainly US, Japan, Korea, and Germany. As the assembly of the iPhone is soul crushingly boring and repetitive, I'm not sure we want those jobs. And does it make sense to pay $50 more for an iPhone just to get a bunch of minimum wage jobs that will probably go to immigrants anyway?

So are jobs in auto-plants. If they pay decent, people will want them.

We need jobs for the bottom third of the work-force that is effectively unskilled. They will be boring and repetitive, but as long as they pay a living wage, people will do them.

The alternative of putting these people permanently on the dole will destroy democracy.
   5776. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4223911)
I've been waiting for 20 years for the Republican party to go populist


They end arounded your pretty theory by going hardcore populist on white-male culture war rhetoric (racial and sexual panic) while tripling down on the big money elements behind the scenes. Fool.

Another interesting add-on effect of tarriffing the price points of luxury goods upwards (if the price points would in fact increase) might be the revaluation of work and non-material well-being over standing in line to buy the next iPhone like it's going to save your soul.
   5777. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4223912)
So are jobs in auto-plants. If they pay decent, people will want them.


But they won't pay decent, that's the point.
   5778. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4223914)

If the cost of manufacture increases by $20 that doesn't mean the price point the market will bear for the widget magically increases by $20. It means the profits from the sale are now $Z-($Y+20). The company will then make some new calculation about the profit margins they wish to run, price points in the market (vs raw sales totals), etc.


Right, so maybe they go out of business. That doesn't help. And if they can afford an extra $20, and that's what you want to extract, just slap on a $20 sales tax on every widget they sell.
   5779. formerly dp Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4223915)
Using round numbers just for the sake of example, if my choice is to receive $500/week in government benefits while sitting at home or to earn $600 for working 40 hours in a low-skilled job, the former looks much more appealing.


I know you like making stuff up, but this is just going off the rails. Do you actually know how unemployment works, or is that one more thing you can't be bothered to educate yourself on?
   5780. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4223916)
But they won't pay decent, that's the point.

Why not? If we actually had a manufacturing base, and a tariff, unions would make a comeback.

To note: Although very conservative, I am not opposed to private sector unions, as long as act reasonably and don't collude to hold-up firms. Public sector unions are an abomination.
   5781. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4223917)
Let's try a thought experiment. Roger Smith invents a replicator. Just dump in some air, water and dirt, and it will convert that into whatever you want. A car, a phone, a refrigerator, a house, a pizza. Poof, no manufacturing or construction would be needed ever again.

Would that be a boon or the worst thing that ever happened?
   5782. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4223918)
But they won't pay decent, that's the point.


They would if you valued UAW contracts over bondholder whinging.
   5783. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4223919)
Right, so maybe they go out of business. That doesn't help. And if they can afford an extra $20, and that's what you want to extract, just slap on a $20 sales tax on every widget they sell.

The sales tax doesn't encourage on-shoring of jobs.

The revenue from a tariff is just a nice extra. The goal is to redistribute wealth from capital owners (the wealthy, corporations) to labor owners (unskilled workers) without all the distortions and terrible social effects of a tax/welfare solution.

   5784. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4223920)
To note: Although very conservative, I am not opposed to private sector unions, as long as act reasonably and don't collude to hold-up firms.


IOW, you support unions as long as they have no power.
   5785. The Good Face Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4223922)
#5752 You might get minimum wage jobs back (which is why I qualified my statement). Anything more and they'll buy robots.

Mind you, the robots will come in any case. The technology gets better and cheaper every year. There's a reason net output rises while net employment in the sector drops.


This is absolutely correct. Robots are preferable to actual workers in virtually every way. They work as hard and for as long as you want without complaint or overtime pay. They can't get hurt or killed on the job, or at least they can't sue you if they do get damaged. They never show up for work drunk, high, or hungover. They don't waste hours of work time a week hitting on the cute chick in finance or messing with their fantasy football team. Robots never launch spurious EEOC claims about being discriminated against, and virtually never create sexual harassment suits.

The limiting factors are cost and suitability for the task. Up until fairly recently, robotics were limited in what tasks they could reliably handle. That's starting to change, and costs are always coming down as the technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous. The biggest factor slowing automation down is cheap foreign labor, both overseas and imported to the US. But when the labor gets more expensive...
   5786. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4223925)
IOW, you support unions as long as they have no power.

No. I support unions that look after workers rights and well-being. I don't support unions that use collusive power (e.g. the UAW can have a united front across all auto-makers, but it's illegal for Ford, GM and Chrysler to coordinate on labor issues) to extract rents from the rest of society.

Like any other organization, too much power is bad. I want unions that have some power, but not overwhelming. In the '60's and '70's unions had too much power, now they have too little. Likewise, corporations and government today have too much power.

I'm a distributist. I want power dispersed far and wide. Any org. that gets too powerful will become corrupt. Lord Acton was right.
   5787. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4223927)
No. I support unions that look after workers rights and well-being. I don't support unions that use collusive power


Well how in the hell do they accomplish the former without the threat of the latter?

"Hey, mister factory owner, that's an unfair labor practice"

"Bite me"

"Well, we tried."
   5788. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4223928)
We need jobs for the bottom third of the work-force that is effectively unskilled. They will be boring and repetitive, but as long as they pay a living wage, people will do them.

Of course. The idea that their "skills" would rise to match the "new" high-paying jobs of the free trade era was always loony tunes.

The mismatch between skills and jobs has gotten much worse in the "free trade" era; thus the huge swaths of underskilled and overskilled in the work force -- working guys with nowhere to go, PhDs and masters degree holders scrounging for work as nannies and bartenders. Recession retooolings and reorganizations now consist almost entirely of disposing of jobs and replacing a fraction of those jobs with worse jobs -- precisely what has happened in the downturn that commenced in 2008. The "free trade" economy we have now is borderline dysfunctional.
   5789. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4223930)
Like any other organization, too much power is bad. I want unions that have some power, but not overwhelming. In the '60's and '70's unions had too much power, now they have too little. Likewise, corporations and government today have too much power.


It's good to have you back, Snap Snap. A conservative with a realistic critique of power is always a breath of fresh air these days. (Now if we could only teach you something modern about your archaic theory of authority we'd be on our way!)
   5790. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4223931)
Public sector unions are an abomination.


And just how are teachers, police, firefighters, etc, supposed to have their rights protected? By the benevolence of the city, county, state?
   5791. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4223936)
The mismatch between skills and jobs has gotten much worse in the "free trade" era;


Posit: this is structural to a shift in basic human production, not specific to a distinct economy.

When the world of human production changed from agriculture to industry there was a huge upheaval in the status quo of functional labor. This upheaval led to the demise of the feudal world and the rise of the three great theories of political arrangements of homo economicus; communism, fascism and liberalism. As the great upheaval worked its way through the strata of human societies, from the Industrial Revolution through the World and Cold Wars, most of humanity retained some basic relationship to their pre-industrial skill sets, such that even in a bind food could be grown (outside of environmental disasters such as the Dust Bowl, or human disasters such as Europe in the 1930s) and people could survive.

But industrialization has itself broken most of modern humanity away from the means of production, and thus the next great upheaval, if it takes down industrialized food, will create greater suffering and death than the previous upheaval ever managed.
   5792. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4223938)
I know you like making stuff up, but this is just going off the rails. Do you actually know how unemployment works, or is that one more thing you can't be bothered to educate yourself on?

You're a funny guy, 'formerlydp'.

Unemployment in the U.S. is over 10 percent. If working a minimum-wage job paid more than the panoply of government benefits available to the unemployed, people would be getting into fistfights every time McDonald's or Starbucks posted a job opening.

Look at the disability numbers. Hundreds of thousands of people have decided it's better to get $x on disability than work a low-skilled job for slightly more than $x.
   5793. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4223940)
But industrialization has itself broken most of modern humanity away from the means of production,

Sure, but this alienation was and is more tolerable at $20 an hour, health, dental, and a pension.
   5794. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 31, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4223944)
Look Andy, in the 1930's people didn't have credit cards to rack up for months or years to stave off their inevitable financial ruin - they do now. They didn't have comfortable homes bought with NINJA mortages that they could live in for months or years without making any payments before being foreclosed upon - they do now. In the the 30's the population was proportionately more rural, so at least they could grow some of their own food - most can't now. It may not be as bad as the 30's right now, but that's where we're headed, and the once-in-a-generation drought that's just wiped out a good portion of the corn crop in the US is adding fuel to the fire.

Somewhere in between your hyperbole and the CW perception of our reality lies the truth. I only wish I knew where that point was, and when we'll ever get around to trying to address it with anything beyond rhetoric.

-----------------------------------------

Let's try a thought experiment. Roger Smith invents a replicator. Just dump in some air, water and dirt, and it will convert that into whatever you want. A car, a phone, a refrigerator, a house, a pizza. Poof, no manufacturing or construction would be needed ever again.

Would that be a boon or the worst thing that ever happened?


You're obviously not old enough to remember The Shmooos, which were like a food version of your replicator, little Nieporent-shaped critters that transformed themselves into anything edible your heart desired, and gladly jumped into your frying pan or your oven at your very wish. They also reproduced themselves both endlessly and sexlessly.

However, it didn't end well:

In a sequence beginning in late August 1948, Li'l Abner discovers the shmoos when he ventures into the forbidden "Valley of the Shmoon" following the mysterious and musical sound they make (from which their name derives). Abner is thrown off a cliff and into the valley below by a primitive "large gal" (as he addresses her), whose job is to guard the valley. (This character is never seen again.) There, against the frantic protestations of a naked, heavily bearded old man who shepherds the shmoos, Abner befriends the strange and charming creatures. "Shmoos," the old man warns, "is the greatest menace to hoomanity th' world has evah known!" "Thass becuz they is so bad, huh?" asks Li'l Abner. "No, stupid", answers the man — and then encapsulates one of life's profound paradoxes: "It's because they's so good!!"

Having discovered their value ("Wif these around, nobody won't nevah havta work no more!!"), Abner leads the shmoos out of the valley — where they become a sensation in Dogpatch and, quickly, the rest of the world. Captains of industry such as J. Roaringham Fatback, the "Pork King", become alarmed as sales of nearly all products decline, and in a series of images reminiscent of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the "Shmoo Crisis" unfolds. On Fatback's orders, a corrupt exterminator orders out "Shmooicide Squads" to wipe out the shmoos with a variety of firearms, which is depicted in a macabre and comically graphic sequence, with a tearful Li'l Abner misguidedly saluting the supposed "authority" of the extermination squads.

After the shmoos have been eliminated, Dogpatch's extortionate grocer Soft-Hearted John is seen cackling as he displays his wares—rotting meat and produce: "Now them mizzuble starvin' rats has t'come crawlin t'me fo' the necessities o' life!! They complained 'bout mah prices befo'!! Wait'll they see th' new ones!!" The exterminator congratulates him.

However, it is soon discovered that Abner has secretly saved two shmoos, a "boy" and a "girl". The boy shmoo, as a Dogpatch native, is required to run from the girl shmoo in the annual Sadie Hawkins Day race. (Shmoos are usually portrayed as gender-neutral, although Capp sidesteps this issue to allow the comic plot twist.) When he is caught by her, in accordance with the rules of the race, they are joined in marriage by Marryin' Sam (whom they "pay" with a dozen eggs, two pounds of butter and six cupcakes with chocolate frosting — all of which Sam reckons to be worth about 98 cents). The already expanding shmoo family is last seen returning towards the Valley of the Shmoon.

The sequence, which ended just before Christmas of 1948, was massively popular, both as a commentary on the state of society and a classic allegory of greed and corruption tarnishing all that's good and innocent in the world. The Shmoo caused an unexpected national sensation, and set the stage for a major licensing phenomenon. In their very few subsequent appearances in Li'l Abner, shmoos are also identified by the U.S. military as a major threat to national security.
   5795. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4223945)
Sure, but this alienation was and is more tolerable at $20 an hour, health, dental, and a pension.


Okay, I'm good with this. So we need to industrialize* the provisioning of basic services such as a health, dental (why this is always broken out of health I'll never understand) and retirement.

So we need a *robust* social security network and a not-for-profit healthcare model. Is this fair?
   5796. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 31, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4223948)
I was on unemployment for about 4 months last year. I had the maximum benefit of $366 per week.

While it's true that minimum wage retail job would not be worth taking at that income level, if you were an unskilled worker making that little to begin with you would never qualify for $366 per week.

And I have to add, they do make you submit work search logs weekly. Yes, they are easy to falsify, but if you get caught in a random audit you are screwed.
   5797. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4223949)
Well how in the hell do they accomplish the former without the threat of the latter?

"Hey, mister factory owner, that's an unfair labor practice"

"Bite me"

"Well, we tried."


They can strike an individual factory/company that's being unreasonable. What I'm opposing is industry wide collusion by a union. That should be illegal, just like industry wide collusion by corps. is.


And just how are teachers, police, firefighters, etc, supposed to have their rights protected? By the benevolence of the city, county, state?


They have civil service protection.

Unions don't work in the public sector b/c there's no competition/profit incentive to make "management" actually bargain hard. Unions have been able to co-opt gov't and reward themselves with salary and benefits out of all proportion to the market.
   5798. CrosbyBird Posted: August 31, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4223950)
I wish the game rewarded expansion and city building more, and disallowed points for roads that aren't connecting cities.

Longest road is usually a trap, because roads don't do anything else for you. It's something that's typically only worthwhile to back into. Even if you have a ton of brick and wood, it's usually better to trade it in for other stuff than to fight someone for 2 points.

In my opinion, the best general strategy (after you have your third settlement) is to build tons and tons of development cards. Outside of settlements, they're the best cost/value proposition in the game: at worst, you get to hurt someone and steal a resource from them. Having knights in reserve sets up powerful plays where you steal twice from your closest competitor if you roll a 7; also, it gives someone else a strong negative incentive toward placing the robber on your territory with their own 7 or knight.

Late in the game, a monopoly card can give you an insane build phase. I remember one game where I stole something like 12 ore from other players and upgraded three settlements to cities for a win nobody saw coming.
   5799. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4223951)
It's good to have you back, Snap Snap. A conservative with a realistic critique of power is always a breath of fresh air these days. (Now if we could only teach you something modern about your archaic theory of authority we'd be on our way!)

Thanks!
   5800. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4223954)
So we need a *robust* social security network and a not-for-profit healthcare model. Is this fair?

Sure ... but the problems are more fundamental than that. Like Snapper said, too many people on the dole and the country rots. A system of freely mobile massed capital that expropriates all the marginal rewards of progress will not work -- and is clearly not working. The essence of that needs to be addressed more than the symptoms.

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